Paleyfest 2013 Report #1: Once Upon A Time

6 Mar

On Sunday I finally, finally, finally went to my first Paleyfest panel. Only took about seven years, no big deal. And I have three more to go! And I am going to tell you about all of them! So here goes, the story of the Once Upon A Time Paleyfest panel:

I’ll skip all the boring waiting in line parts and get right to the main event. For Paleyfest, you buy tickets for a section and then have general admission within that section, so the beginning was just sort of a mad rush of everyone finding seats. I got in the eighth row of the orchestra, but then I was surrounded by very tall people, so, you win some, you lose some.

The first in my new series, entitled: Perfectly Good Pictures Ruined By Tall People

The first in my new series, entitled: Perfectly Good Pictures Ruined By Tall People

Anyhoo, the panel kicked off with a cartoon from the 1960s which involved an off-magic Evil Queen and a con-artist Prince Charming and Snow White. It was silly but cute. Then, they screened that night’s episode, plus the first act of the next episode (this week’s). (A description of that, plus all the hints they gave out, at the bottom under “continue reading”). Then the cast and creators were brought out, everyone got settled in, and the evening really began.

What a nice looking cast. Even though Colin got blocked by a tall person. Sorry, Colin.

What a nice looking cast. Even though Colin got blocked by a tall person. Sorry, Colin.


There he is!

The panel started off with the moderator asking questions. The one that I found the most interesting, and challenging to the creators, was one about the complaint that the show does not have a very good view of adoptive parents. I’ve heard that complaint quite a bit, so I was glad it was brought up. Their answer – basically that they think very highly of adoptive parents and the characters don’t hate Regina because they think she’s a bad mom, they hate her because she keeps trying to kill them – didn’t really hold up with me. That all may be true, but at the same time, there have been several occasions when the characters have implied or said that Regina isn’t really Henry’s mom, and that Emma somehow has a better claim to him. But I suppose that’s an issue for another day. As for the other questions, they mostly touched on future episodes and so, like the summary of the first act of this week’s episode, they’ll be under the cut.

The Charmings!

The Charmings!

After the moderator Q&A, the floor was opened to the audience for questions. Toward the very end, two Evil Regals, after a very sweet message to the cast & crew, asked about the one thing that has always bugged me about this show to no end: what in the world Snow thought she did when she told Charming that she did, in fact, ruin the Queen’s life, even though according the show’s chronology, she didn’t know about Daniel dying at that point. The creators’ answer was basically “maybe it’s something you haven’t seen yet,” but Ginny’s follow up to that made me think that really, it was just a mistake. But maybe now that they’ve had their attention called to it they’ll make something up to fix it. I hope.

Lana is not pleased with how blurry the lack of flash is making her.

Lana is not pleased with how blurry the lack of flash is making her.

After the audience Q&A came the craziest part of the evening: the mad rush for autographs. The way they do autographs is that the fans rush the stage while the cast stands at the edge, signing the items that are thrust up at them. I kid you not, the SPLIT SECOND the final question was done, a large amount of people shot out of their seats and ran to the stage. At first I was like, wow, people sure are in a rush to get out of here, what if it isn’t really over? Once I realized what was happening, I sat in my chair for a minute or two, undecided about if I really wanted to join the mass trying to get to the stage. Finally I decided to go for it – all I wanted was for Lana or Ginny to sign my ticket and I’d leave happy. But getting up to the stage was no easy task. Once I was in the main throng, it was basically like being in a mosh pit – I was pressed in on all sides, being shoved into chairs and other people. I very quickly wanted to get out of there, but at a certain point I literally was no longer in control of my movements – I was being pushed forward by the momentum of the people behind me. I was pretty sure I was going to die, and I wasn’t even going to get an autograph. I got SO CLOSE, and Lana was RIGHT THERE, but it wasn’t quite close enough, and she moved on to another section before I could get any further in. Ginny was gone, and I was despairing of getting any autographs, so when I saw a sliver of an opening to the side, I shoved through it and got out. I stood and took pictures of the autograph signing for awhile, and then I booked it out of there. Remind me to never be in a crowded place when there’s a fire or something. If only people would realize that things would go much quicker and smoother if we all just stood in nice single file lines instead of shoving people around. Oh well.

What I was attempting to get through/got caught in

What I was attempting to get through/got caught in. I don’t know if a picture can fully capture how insane it was.

I would have been crying at how overwhelming this was. Luckily, Ginny was not.

I would have been crying at how overwhelming this was. Luckily, Ginny was not.

So close, and yet, so far

So close, and yet, so far

Fun facts: Lana and Robert were out there the longest, and Lana was definitely in highest demand. At one point, after I had gotten out, she moved to one part of the stage, and the people she had just left started screaming, “Lana! LANAAAAAA!!!!1!111!1” I heard after that some people had some success going to the back of the theater and waiting for people to come out, so that’s what I’ll try for Parenthood. I’m sitting in the mezzanine for that one, so there is absolutely no way I could shove into the autograph crowd even if I wanted to go through that again. And for now, I’ll just carry around my ticket until I inevitably run into one of the cast members and can get them to sign it. It’ll happen, right? Right?

If you want to read about the future tidbits and the next episode, check under the cut here. Otherwise, until the Parenthood report!

Future tidbits:

  • We’ll definitely be seeing a darker Snow White (but they did not say just how dark)
  • We’ll be visiting a new land (my guess: Neverland)
  • We’ll be meeting a new character in the new land
  • Episode 17 will cover the first week of the curse, back in 1983 (sadly, despite Lana’s wishes, we will not see Regina with crimped hair)
  • Jamie Dornan (the huntsman) will return in episode 17
  • We’ll get to know Belle’s cursed persona, Lacey (aka “Racy Lacey”)
  • Henry being Rumpelstiltskin’s “undoing” may not actually be a bad thing
  • The second to last episode of the season will be called “Second Star to the Right.” The finale will be “And Straight On Til Morning.” (again, guessing we’re going to Neverland)
  • At one point, someone asked if there was anyone else we’d be finding out the true identity of this season. The creators said no, but Lana and Emilie both went “but what about..” and Lana whispered something into Adam’s ear, and he just shook his head. So I’m thinking there’s something they don’t want to say. It could just be about Neal though, who I strongly suspect is also Peter Pan. But who knows?

The Miller’s Daughter, Act One

  • Young Cora (Rose McGowan) is introduced as the daughter of a drunken miller
  • When she takes flour to court, a princess (Ava, who I am 99.9% sure is the younger version of Snow’s mom) trips Cora, makes her spill all the flour, and then blames it on her and complains that she ruined her shoes. Cora is made to kneel and apologize. She is not pleased.
  • Cora shows up at a masque ball being held to find a wife for Prince Henry. Henry clearly likes her, but his dad comes over and cuts in on their dance. While they’re dancing, he says he knows who she is – Cora, the miller’s daughter. Cora claims that he’s missing out by snubbing her for his son, since she can spin straw into gold – but she won’t do it now that she’s been insulted.
  • The King stops the ball to tell everyone Cora’s claim, and locks her up with straw and a spinning wheel. He tells her that if she can spin the straw into gold by morning, she can marry Henry, and if not, she’ll die.

So basically, it was just the opening of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, and the reason for Regina’s last name being Mills is confirmed. And I think we can all guess what happens with Cora and Henry.


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